Facebook Ad Types
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Facebook Advertising for Beginners

Facebook Ad Types

There are two types of ads you can use – dark posts and public posts.

Dark posts are hidden from your followers and don’t appear on your timeline. The only people who will see them are your target audience and anyone they share it with. Dark posts also have buttons, like Learn More or Download. In other words, these are the ads you make in Ads Manager and Power Editor.

Public posts are posts on your Facebook page. You can promote any of these as long as they conform to Facebook ad guidelines.

Ad Formats

Ad formats set the structure of your ads. The format you choose will impact every other setting for the ad.

facebook ad types


Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are an engaging way to show off multiple links and images. The images appear as 1:1 squares, and users can cycle through them by clicking an arrow or swiping on their phone. You can use them on Facebook and Instagram.

facebook carousel ads

Each image includes a link, headline, description, destination URL and button. You can add additional images by pressing the plus button. You can also use video instead of images for even more interactivity.

facebook carousel ads

Here’s when you should use carousel ads:

  • You need to drive engagement
  • Want images to be front and centre
  • Products need to be showcased
  • A bigger message needs to be emphasized that can’t fit on one image

Carousel Ad Best Practices

Drive awareness. You can use Carousel ads to tell a story, like )))))

Increase consideration. You can highlight your products or outline the benefits of purchasing your product.

Get purchases. This is a good opportunity to highlight sales, or retarget to existing customers.

Images vital to strong performance. More so than any other ad format, Carousel ads require strong and impactful images. Spend some time finding the best images to showcase your company or your product.

Select show best performing ad. Unless ads need to be in a specific order, select the tick-box below to ensure your best performing ad is shown first.

Set different links depending on each image. If you’re running product ads, make sure each product ad links out to the correct product page.

Use Carousel on mobile. These types of ads are really optimized for the mobile experience. If you are running them, make sure you selected a mobile placement.

Tip – Try running carousel ads as part of multiple ad creative types within an ad set, so you can see how each performs. While Facebook says Carousel ads perform better, we still find normal link ads give drive better results. 


Image Ads

Single image ads are the primary creative type that advertisers use. If you don’t have access to images, you can use free stock images from Shutterstock.

We use image ads for almost all ad campaigns. Why? We always get better sales, leads and lower costs by using image ads. But don’t take our word for it – run tests to see which performs better.

facebook ad example

Tip – Always run at least two different creatives in your ad set. Make sure the creative is different, since you want to test big changes. That means testing things like images and not description text. 


Single Video

Video are ads are everywhere. And they rock. A Neilson study showed that Purchase Intent increased 72% after just 10 seconds of watching a video. And a study by Adobe showed that shoppers who view videos were 1.8X more likely to purchase than non-views.

Facebook video ad

Here are some ways to effectively use video ads:

  • Build a retargeting audience by showing your ad to interested audiences
  • Explain your product and show the value proposition
  • Short teaser about your product
  • Build interest amongst a much larger audience
  • Increase brand awareness by highlighting your product or service

Creating a video ad is easy. Just upload the video, select a preview image and fill out the rest of the ad info (headline, description, button, etc).

Make sure your video includes a website link. If choosing website views, select “Add a website URL” to ensure you still drive traffic to your website.


Slideshow Ad

Slideshow ads are unique to Facebook. They let advertisers quickly and easily create engaging video content, without needing to be video editors.

Why should you consider using Slideshow ads?

  • They load 5x  faster and consume less data, making them ideal for international audiences
  • Quickly deploy new video creative
  • You can make them as interactive as you want, with the ability to add sound and text

Setting up slideshow ads is easy.

First, select slideshow ad at the top. Then select either Browse Library if you have a slideshow video or Create Slideshow if you need to make one.

Slideshow creation might look complicated, but it’s very simple. Here’s a breakdown of each option:

  • Aspect Ratio: The size of your images. They must either be the same size, or they’ll be scaled downwards.
  • Image Duration: How the image appears. For most ads we recommend a minimum of 2 seconds. Ads with text or other complex images should be at least 3 seconds.
  • Transition: Does the image transition immediately or fade? We find fade to be the best looking transition, but it will entirely depend on your creative.
  • Music: You can choose pre-created background music for your slideshow.

Then you need to either add photos or add a pre-existing video. Finally, you can use the bottom to sort each image.

Once you’ve finished your Slideshow ad, you still need to add the URL, headline, post text and button.

Slideshow Best Practices

Use text in videos. Remember those images you couldn’t run because they are over 20% text? These are great to add into your Slideshow rotation.

Experiment with vertical images. Vertical videos have been a hit. Try using your vertical images and see if you can increase performance.

Canvas Ads

Canvas ads are an incredibly powerful engagement and brand building format.

We’ve created an entire eBook on canvas ads. You can download it by clicking this link. 

Offer Ads

Offer ads are designed to drive an ins-tore or online offer. These should be used to reach people who have a pre-existing relationship like a fan or a website visitor.

facebook offer ad

The key things to decide when making an offer are:

  • The audience you are targeting
  • The product discount
  • The discount amount
  • The length of the discount

All of that will have an impact on whether your offer is successful or fails.

Lead Ad

A Lead ad lets you collect information from a user without leaving Facebook’s platform.If Facebook has a user’s information, that information will pre-populate into the selected fields.

Lead ads can only be accessed through the Lead Ad objective.

lead ad objective

Clicking on a lead ad brings up the intro screen, followed by the input fields and then a thank-you screen which directs people to an offsite link. You can add different types of data and questions to collect very specific types of data.

Lead ads are available on desktop and mobile Facebook feeds.
facebook lead ads

Lead ads seem like a great idea. But we’ve found little difference between lead ad and website conversion ads. In fact, lead ad users end up performing much worse when we calculate their long-term ROI.

Sponsored Mentions

Sponsored mentions are posts that include “with [page]” content. The idea here is to team up with another brand or page to act as an influencer and reinforce the positives of your post or ad.

From Facebook

This can be great if you want to experiment with influencer marketing, especially if you want to target a fan page or interest list. This can be a great way to show your page has the trust of that organization.

Dynamic Product Ads

Dynamic Product Ads rock. This ad format let’s you serve ads to users based on website and app event triggers

The ad looks like a carousel ad, but displays dynamic products that you pre-set.


Here are the different triggers that are available:

Viewed Content – someone views a product on your website, and that product is served to them on Facebook.

Add to Cart – any products added to cart and not purchased could be shown as an ad.

These can be incredibly powerful if you run an ecommerce store with mid-to-high levels of traffic.

We’ll cover Dynamic Product Ads in a later course.

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